A Short Illustration on Praying Scripture using a Journal

I have given a sample of this before, but it is worth offering another. The picture is part of my prayer journal. You can see that I date it, and list what passages of Scripture I read this morning. One of the passages I read was Hosea 8-12. Inside those chapters are several warnings, encouragements, and enticements to draw near to Yahweh in repentant faith. The verses that stuck out to me are the following:
  • Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. You have plowed iniquity; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your warriors (Hosea 10:12-13).
  • My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all (Hosea 11:7).
  • the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD is his memorial name: “So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God” (Hosea 12:5-6).
As I was praying for “we” “our” and “us” I was pleading on behalf of myself and my family, my congregation, my friends, fellow ministers and their families, Hills and Plains Presbytery, and the Presbyterian Church in America (my denomination). Since you probably can’t read my scribble and scratch in the photo, I will transcribe the prayer below:
May we not be a people bent on turning away from you! May we cease plowing iniquity, reaping injustice, and eating the fruit of lies by trusting in our own ways, in the multitude of our strength! Rather, Lord, may we return to you by your help, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for you! May we sow for ourselves righteousness, reap steadfast love, and break up our fallow ground. For it is time to seek you, LORD, that you may come and rain righteousness on us!
After this prayer, I then listed four personal petitions for the up coming sermon series, Adult class, and my book.

This little display is an example, not a law. Some things to notice:
  • Short – one paragraph.
  • Suggestive – reflecting on a few verses I read during the morning.
  • Simple – without trying to impress God with theological prowess and linguistic flourish.
  • Specific – able to ask for others what I want for myself.

I find that as I do this (and I've done this for decades) it supplements my Scripture retention. But I also notice myself praying more substantively and less shallowly.

I hope you find this specimen satisfactory, and that it is persuasive enough to assist you in giving it a shot.



MGring said…
This is a very helpful suggestion and guide. I appreciate the focus on Scripture, the use of it to help the user (me) to remember scripture better, and the emphasis on praying this for others, my family, and myself.
Thank you!

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